Defining Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a crime of violence, not a crime of passion. All crimes have two components: motive and opportunity. Sexual assault crimes usually involve motives of dominance or control, rather than sexual gratification. Motive is in the mind of the offender. Since we cannot know the mind of others, we must concentrate on removing opportunities for crime and changing the social climate that contributes to victimization. Opportunity for sexual assault varies depending upon the crime.

Most victims of sexual assaults know their perpetrators. However, the most dangerous offenders seem to randomly choose their victims. Perpetrators of sexual assault have no regard for others and seek to fulfill their desires and feed their egos. Victims are chosen because of their vulnerability. Usually, age, race, and physical appearance DO NOT matter to the perpetrator.

There is no "typical" perpetrator. They come from all economic, social, and ethnic backgrounds. Friends, acquaintances or dates may have the potential to harm you. Most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows – a date, a co-worker, a supervisor, an ex-partner, a family member, a neighbor. Many perpetrators are married or have sexual partners. At the same time, a significant number of perpetrators don’t know the victim they assault. They may observe a potential victim and plan the assault, or choose victims randomly. Many sexual assaults are committed by teenagers and young men, but people of all ages commit sexual assaults.

For additional information:

  1. TWU's Sexual Misconduct Policy
  2. TWU's Sexual Misconduct Regulations and Procedures Guide

Page last updated 11:36 AM, March 18, 2019